SEO: first steps

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SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation.’ In other words making sure Google and Bing and Yahoo and all those search engines can both find you and put you on page 1. ‘Cause let’s face it, who seriously looks beyond page 1 of any search result? If you’re anything like me, if you can’t see the result you’re looking for on page 1, you just add in another keyword and try again.

This highlights the importance of finding a good unique name. As my website is live, I’ve unchecked ‘let search engines index you’ or somesuch. Now, if you Google ‘Abigail Saltminder’ it comes up with this site as the first hit! Amazing. But if you Google ‘Toby Zara’  the first page is filled with other Toby Zaras. Again, I apologise to them. I really don’t know why I didn’t see them right from the start. I was probably confused. I often am.

Oddly enough, although you can find Abigail on Google, you can’t on Bing. Or Yahoo.

Anyway, I have now installed something called WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast, which claims to be the most comprehensive SEO plugin for WordPress. Don’t just take my word for it: follow the link.

I’ve just activated it, and been immediately plunged into a whole swimming pool of different words. ‘Taxonomy’ anyone? ‘Webmaster Tools?’ Me neither.

But I can learn ….

(3 hours and a lunch later)

Now I don’t think I’m stupid. I have the sort of grinding intelligence that usually gets things done. But some things turn my brain to porridge. Hello Mastermind, hi there tax returns. Well in SEO I think I might have found another. I read and the words just mean nothing. I look at the options in the plugin and can’t work out what they are trying to tell me. I mean what on earth does:

WordPress SEO has auto-detected whether it needs to force rewrite the titles for your pages. If you think it’s wrong and you know what you’re doing, you can change the setting here.

Again: me neither.

I have to admit, I’m very tempted with just getting someone else to do all this optimisation stuff. I’ve have a look on Fiverr, and there’s a lot of people who ‘produce a report,’ which sounds completely pointless as I probably wouldn’t know how to implement it. And I suspect all they’d do is run some free software anyway.

I’m taking the dog for a walk.

(1 day later)

I’ve had a think and another read and have given up. There’s people out there who’ll do this for me for a few dollars, so why should I sweat it? And as for my gibe about ‘run some free software?’ well, so what? At least they know what software to run!

So I’ve contacted one of the guys (Fiverr again) who seems to know what he’s talking about and we’ll see how it goes.

(A bit later)

Well, she (it was a she, not a guy) seems pretty knowledgeable and has proposed a plan of action. Most of this doesn’t mean a lot to me, and I’m not certain she’s not snowdrifting me with esoteric language, but what the heck, at some point you have to just walk to the end of the pier, pinch your nose and jump off. It’s called trust. So I did that and tried to create a new admin user for her, but WordPress informed me I’d already used my toby.c.zara email address, and wouldn’t let me do it. And right now I’m maintaining – for entirely legitimate purposes – about 5 email addresses, so I don’t want to create another solely for this. So I’ve just sent her a message (via Fiverr) asking what next? And blow me down if Fiverr didn’t then waggle a finger at me, informing me I should not contact anyone directly! Obviously this was because I used the term ’email’. So I suppose somewhere some Fiverr employee is – even now – looking at my message and deciding if they should get shirty about it.

‘New’ technology never ceases to amaze me. I’m sat in my little office, communicating with my expert, and we’re potentially being monitored by someone else. And no-one in this loop has any idea where the other two are. My expert could be 50 yards away, likewise the monitor. Or half a world away. Could even be an astronaut moonlighting on the space station. And do we know? Do we care? Nope.

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